On the outside, this Houston newcomer is black and white. Inside—no joke—it’s red all over: cherry, fire-engine, magenta, crimson, electric pink, and burnt orange. If that caffeinated color scheme doesn’t wake you up, the menu will: With stops in Latin America, Asia, the Mediterranean, and other culinary ports of call, it’s a whirlwind trip around the world. Crêpes, filled with melted Brie, came with a warm compote of sweet stewed figs blended with chipotle—divine. Crunchy flying-fish eggs topped wonderfully fresh ahi tuna tartare, which was infused with roasted-sesame-seed oil; generously sized for an appetizer, it made a light entrée for me. My friend the Tasmanian Devil was in no mood to dine lightly, however, and she demolished her kalamata-and-mustard-crusted rack of lamb in a nanosecond (I think she had a chop bone in each hand at one point). The side dishes—which include Serrano-ham-wrapped asparagus and fat little corn-flour arepas, a.k.a. South American gorditas—span the globe too.
From the July 2004 Issue Subscribe